What are the odds? Gabe Wakefield is a thief. He is burglarizing the immaculate, suburban home of Dr. Derrick Byrnes, a local podiatrist, and his wife, Denise, when Gabe notices a rank odor coming from a garage closet. Upon opening the door, he discovers an emaciated child clothed only in dirty underwear lying in a fetal position in the midst of filth, excrement, and urine. What should he do? No child should live in such deplorable conditions. Against his better judgement, he kidnaps the child.
WHATEVER IT TAKES is a tense suspense/thriller of 92,300 words. Throughout the manuscript, Gabe, a single guy of twenty-five who works as a stocker in a local superstore, is challenged with how to deal with what he has done. He is hell-bent on bringing down the couple who grossly mistreated the child. But how is that possible when he just committed both a felony and a kidnapping?
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Child abuse has become a serious problem in today's society. I wanted to write a book that dealt with this abuse but had a happy ending and unique characters. Since I am basically a suspense/thriller writer (and reader), I also wanted to bring tense, exciting drama into the story-line.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Since the book is about child abuse, I had to involve a child. That was a given. I also needed a savior for that child, but I didn't want some squeaky clean, saintly rescuer to be that savior. So I chose a thief. Since the book is a thriller, I needed a bad guy. Is there anyone worse than a sex offender of children? And what if that offender is a pillar of society – even a doctor?
Gabe took one final look around the house to guarantee he hadn’t missed anything he could use or sell. When he was satisfied with his bounty, he exited the house. As he entered the garage, he again smelled the familiar rancid odor that had assaulted his nose. However, this time he thought he heard some scratching noise coming from a door opposite the automatic garage door… He heard the scratching sound again along with a quiet, whimpering noise. Damn!! They weren’t supposed to have a pet.The closer Gabe got to the closet door, the stronger the obnoxious odor reeked. Gabe tested the knob, but the door was locked. On a high hook next to the door hung a key connected to a short, narrow chain. He wasn’t sure if it was wise, but he wanted to see what was in that closet. With a rag in one hand covering his mouth and nose, he grabbed the key from the hook and unlocked the door. Gabe jumped back from the doorway before he had a chance to shine the flashlight inside the space. When he gained his composure and tightened the rag on his face, he shone the light into the dark space. He couldn’t believe what he saw. It was a small room, probably about four by five feet. A filthy dog bed of a non-descript color covered with feces and dried vomit lay in one corner. Directly inside the door and to the right were two rusty dog dishes, both green with fuzzy mold. The inside of one was half filled with an amber colored liquid. The other was empty except for the mold. Next to these dishes was a metal pot about the size in which pasta would be cooked. It wasn’t filled with pasta. It was filled with urine and shit.
To Gabe’s total amazement, directly next to the doorway, was a small child scrunched in a fetal position and making soft, squeaky sounds. The kid was dressed only in a pair of filthy underwear with dirt, shit, and piss caked over his entire body. The hair on his head was a massive clump of tangles sticking out in all directions. It looked like a rust colored, dirty mop head. And the kid’s entire body was so frail Gabe could almost make out every bone in his arms and legs through his paper thin, pale skin.
Gabe felt bile forming in his throat. Who the hell would keep a child in these conditions? Not even an animal should be treated like this. Gabe knew he wasn’t perfect. But this? Whoever would do this to a child should be shot. If Gabe had carried a gun, without hesitation he would’ve gone into that closed bedroom door and shot those two assholes right in the middle of their foreheads.
But he had no gun. What could he do? He was in the middle of robbing these scumbags; he couldn’t call the police. He’d be arrested on the spot. Plus, he didn’t know what would happen to the kid. Would the police arrest those jerks who kept him confined in that hell hole? Surely if the police saw the condition in which he was living, they’d take him away and haul those sleaze balls’ asses to jail. The boy would end up in foster care. Gabe knew too well from his own experience how the kid would be treated in that system. The kid didn’t deserve that either. Did Gabe want to take the chance it would happen to this boy?
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